Why Matthew McConaughey passed on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for The Dark Tower

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Jan 3, 2017

When Marvel announced it was looking at a “big name” actor for the role of Star-Lord’s dad in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it wasn’t long before the name of Matthew McConaughey started making the rounds on the wonderful world of the internet. However, it wasn’t meant to be, as the Oscar-winner ultimately passed on joining the crew of the Milano for their second outing.

The role ultimately went to Snake Plissken himself, actor Kurt Rusell, and it was later revealed that Star-Lord’s father in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was actually Ego the Living Planet instead of J’son of Spartax in the comics.

But why did McConaughey take a pass on going on a spacefaring cosmic adventure in director James Gunn’s comic book movie (to be fair, he already did with Interstellar)? Well, it had to do with a little Stephen King adaptation titled The Dark Tower, where the actor is set to breathe life into the movie’s baddie, the Man in Black (not to be confused with the Westworld villain of the same name). Here’s what McConaughey said in a recent interview with Playboy:

“I like Guardians of the Galaxy, but what I saw was ‘It’s successful, and now we’ve got room to make a colorful part for another big-name actor.’ I’d feel like an amendment. The Dark Tower script was well written, I like the director [Nikolaj Arcel] and his take on it, and I can be the creator, the author of the Man in Black—a.k.a. the Devil—in my version of this Stephen King novel. We’ve done the first one. It’s a fantastic thriller that takes place in another realm, an alternate universe, but it’s very much grounded. For instance, the gunslinger’s weapon isn’t a lightsaber or something; it’s a pistol. I enjoyed approaching my character as if I were the Devil having a good time, getting turned on by exposing human hypocrisies wherever he finds them.”

Obviously, being able to put your own spin on an established book character is every actor’s dream (and it sounds like McConaughey had a lot of leeway in molding the Man in Black for the big screen) and rightly so. Add to that the fact that the True Detective actor obviously found the whole “grounded” thing interesting as well, and the film became a definite no-brainer for him. 

The Dark Tower will open in movie theaters on July 28, where Matthew McConaughey will star alongside Idris Elba as the Gunslinger, Roland Deschain.

(Playboy via Collider)